Monday, 17 September 2012

You sure you know where we are going?!

"You sure you know where you're going?!"

Hello everyone, welcome back to Charlie's London. Firstly, I would like to say a big, big thank you to everyone that has supported the Twitter and Facebook pages! Together we can keep it going from strength to strength, showing that Charlie is as loved today in his own neighbourhood as he always was.

Stan Laurel
In this edition, I want to talk to you briefly about the places, works and people I am going to be focusing on in much more detail as the blog continues. People such as Hannah and Sydney Chaplin, Fred Karno, Hetty Kelly, Charles Snr, Stan Laurel and even Albert Austin. They all add another dimension to Charlie and the London he held so dear. I will be looking at his homes that still survive and the ones that do not; at the places he mentioned such as The Cut, Lambeth Walk and the site of the old Canterbury Music Hall. Then I will, hopefully, track down as many points of interest such as schools, even the asylums Hannah was a patient of before her sons took her to America in the 1920s. All to help expand the view Charlie's world a little bit more.

Fred Karno
Please stay with us, as next Monday I will be doing a study of Hannah Chaplin, Charlie's beloved mother, and (some may argue) his main inspiration for the female roles in his movies - and even his own classic character of The Tramp. Hannah fascinates me! The first time I read her story, I thought of all the women in my life I had known, and how their own plights had made them so much stronger for it. The grit and bravery of a London woman is truly something I will always be in awe of, and something that I have witnessed all my life - for good and bad. Hannah had a sad life, one plagued with mental and financial anguish. Hopefully next week will do her justice.

Hannah Chaplin

Throughout our journey together we will build a map of Charlie's haunts throughout London, some well-known and some perhaps not so familiar.  I will also be adding that personal touch along the way, sharing some heart warming and loveable stories with you as I go. People often forget that comedy can be both truthful and tragic all at the same time. Charlie showed us, as did Shakespeare before him, that comedy and tragedy sit upon the same side of the coin. Sat upon the other is realism and observation. This is something that I believe Charlie used incredibly well, especially when observing those around him as he grew up in and around the Borough of Southwark.

Along the way, I want you all to see South London not only as Charlie would have, but also the history and the humanity of it - its people and places. Then, if i have done my job properly, you will never look at a Chaplin film in the same way again! With every roll of the eyes, kick up the arse and sarcastic facial expression, you will quietly laugh to yourself as you shake your head, smile and say under your breath "Ayse was right, that's so South London!"

Cheerio, Charlie!

See you all soon everyone!

Ayse x

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